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Vital Eastbourne based community service faces closure

Eastbourne based Reformed East Sussex faces closure after East Sussex County Council refused to shortlist them for funding.

An award winning Community Interest Company, Reformed East Sussex, are in danger of closing their doors in April 2019 unless communities and businesses can come together to help fund this vital local service. While they have relied on innovation funding in the past, from sources such as East Sussex County Council, this year they will not receive this.

Charmaine Sewell, who founded the company in 2014, said: “This can’t be the end. My team and I have worked so hard to build a service that people really rely on in Eastbourne and beyond, and we’re not going to give up on helping these vulnerable people.

“We found out on Wednesday (6 March) that we had not been shortlisted for innovation funding. Sadly for us that is the final blow. We are all in shock and concerned for the future.”

Charmaine started the Community Interest Company after experiencing first hand the challenges of having a criminal record, being in prison and experiencing discrimination related to her past.

She continues: “We all make mistakes in life. After we pay for those mistakes we should all be allowed to lead a normal life as part of a caring and understanding community. Sadly that doesn’t happen for so many simply because they don’t have the support required. We offer that support and help ex-offenders and recovering addicts turn their lives around.”

Reformed East Sussex provide education, training, employment and volunteering opportunities to the most marginalised people in our communities. Covering all of East Sussex the service aims to help ex-offenders and recovering addicts turn their lives around, build self esteem and find employment.

“I’m so upset that we’ve found ourselves in this position.” Says Charmaine, “In the last year alone we have successfully helped 1/4 of our clients obtain employment, and continue to support the others.Without continued community support our service will be lost.

“If you can please help us by donating on our website and by spreading the word about us.”

Working with community partners Reformed East Sussex’s support is focused on intervention, prevention and reduction in offending and substance misuse. They need £25,000 to continue helping people turn their lives around.

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